A Tampa, Florida-based startup is today launching predictive analytics for sites.
Not web sites. Actual real estate sites, whose revenue the SiteZeus engine predicts.
Let’s say you’re a fast-service restaurant, and you’re considering which of several possible locations to choose for your next outlet. SiteZeus is designed for retail, restaurant, and hospitality brands with more than ten locations that want to build, rent, or renovate new locations for branches.
Revenue and other data from the restaurant chain’s current locations are combined with the proposed sites’ demographics, sociographics, climate data, transportation options, nearby competitors, churches and schools, parking, visibility, and other info. Sources include Google, credit card companies, consumer researcher Nielsen, and customer/business info provider Acxiom.
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The result: a projection of the revenue potential for the considered sites. SiteZeus says the previous six-month beta test showed its revenue projections were only about five to 12 percent off the actual revenue flow, based on more than a dozen businesses that have used the platform.
But the company is clear that it is only providing data and tools for making a decision, not actually recommending any location.
A key reason for that is to avoid a conflict of interest with the other part of SiteZeus’ business: a brokerage service. It operates as a co-broker with real estate agents and landlords in the southeastern U.S. and Texas to secure the actual sites for the chains. The company has plans to roll out its combined services into other states.
“We talk to landlords on your behalf,” cofounder and COO Keenan Baldwin told me.
If you, the business chain, end up employing their brokerage service for securing your location, the prior use of the location intelligence engine is free. If not, you pay $1 per square foot of your eventual store, if it is set up within the 12-month contract. If outside the 12 months, there’s also no fee for using the engine.
With the client brands so far, the company said, the split is about 50-50 between those using the brokerage service and those not.
Baldwin said that he and his brother, CEO and cofounder Hannibal Baldwin, had the idea for this kind of “location intelligence” after their experience in trying to locate a new shop for their own small self-serve yogurt chain, Yogurtology.
The first three shops were “home runs,” he said, but a fourth location didn’t live up to their “benchmark expectations.”
They started looking at the raw data to find out why, using Excel spreadsheets to keep track, when they decided there was an opportunity here.
The platform, in development for about 18 months, is currently available only for desktops, but the company is intending to bring it to tablets. In February, SiteZeus received series A funding of $2.2 million, following an earlier seed round of $450,000.
The company claims it is the first such data-driven, real-time site selection tool. The Baldwins and cofounder Azad Ratzki said their competitors include, on the low end, advice given by traditional brokerages.
On the high end: consultants who conduct custom site analysis for what SiteZeus said is generally over $100,000.